All-area soccer MVP: Addison Trail's Amato ‘Everything a coach wants’
Well-rounded Amato a force on field, in classroom for Addison Trail
ADDISON – Addison Trail boys soccer coach Ryan Dini described Angelo Amato as the total package.
Amato combined standout play on the field with impressive grades in the classroom. He was a three-year varsity starter for the Blazers, a two-time all-sectional and all-conference pick. He also has a 4.4 GPA and scored a 31 on the ACT.
“He is everything a coach wants,” Dini said. “He’s in the weight room every day. It’s amazing how much stronger he’s gotten. He’s the type of kid that will work out at six in the morning at the school.”
His hard work turned him into a force as the Blazers’ sweeper the last two years and the Most Valuable Player of the Suburban Life all-area boys soccer team this fall.
Amato is hoping to earn the chance to play Division I college soccer. He already has received interest from Division II and III schools, but plans on attending showcases for next-level coaches with the intent of playing at the highest level of college soccer.
“I’ve always wanted to get to the highest level,” Amato said. “Knowing that there are elite players in high schools in each state that go to college, I just want to see what that level is like.”
Amato started playing in park district leagues when he was four and has been playing year round ever since. Typically playing as a defender, Amato began his varsity career as a right back for the Blazers as a sophomore.
With a year of experience, Dini deemed Amato ready to play a more pivotal role in defense the following year and moved him to sweeper.
Amato became the last line in the defense and the Blazers went 14-6-1 last year and finished second to state power Morton in the conference.
“He brings that physical presence that teams need in the back,” Dini said.
“He has great size. He’s 6-1. In the box he wins every 50-50 ball. It’s amazing how well reacts and is able to win the ball.”
In addition to keying the defense positionally, he also had to help organize the back line. It forced Amato into a leadership role. He had played sweeper before high school, but still was unsure about the move to a pressure packed position.
Now that his high school career is over he only looks back positively on his time with the Blazers.
“It was great,” Amato said. “I put a lot of hard work into it. We didn’t achieve at some points what I thought we deserved, but I had a great time.”